Today my eldest daughter turns five. This means all day kindergarten, learning a new classroom, meeting a new teacher, and making new friends. I am astounded at how my life has changed since my little four pounder was born. This is her story.
Sobbing on the phone with the OB nurse assuring her I had been doing my kick counts until I took a nap. She hadn't moved in an hour. My husband was packing up his classroom and I was alone. Alone with my horrible thoughts. All of the what ifs that were pounding through my brain. "I think it would be best if you met the doctor at the hospital," she finally said.
I hung up and called my mother. I tired to explain to my mother what was happening, but to this day I am not sure she understood anything other than Emma hadn't moved even after I drank a Dr. Pepper. Within minutes she was at my door and we were on our way to the hospital. What seemed liked hours was only minutes, but needless to say I hadn't calmed down. Something was horribly wrong. When I arrived in OB they were waiting on me. Nurses scurrying me in to try and calm me down. "Honey, what can I do to help you calm down?"
"Her heartbeat," I replied, " I need to hear it." Swiftly and efficiently the nurse grabbed the monitor pulled up my shirt and we heard the swooshing of a baby's heartbeat. My sobs stopped and I climbed into the bed. I began to answer their questions and the doctor walked in. He wanted me to stay for an non stress test for the next few hours. This had begun to be my routine. I had non stress tests twice weekly for six weeks now.
Finally, my heart rate returned to normal. I tried to get comfortable. My mom turned on the TV and suddenly a rush of activity filled the room. They were putting me on oxygen and moving me on my side. Then I heard it, "Her heart rate dropped. We need an ultrasound." The machine was wheeled in and the tech began his measurements in silence. My how the silence was deafening. My brain kept wanting answers, but the only answer was silence. After 15 minutes, he left and a nurse came in and brightly said, "Hello, Ms. S! Let's get your IV started I hear we are having a baby today!!" My jaw dropped and I said, "Nope! Not me. My baby isn't due for six more weeks." Her face turned red and she left in a rush. My nurse who had held my hand through the last few hours came in and sat on the edge of the bed.
"Lynnelle, your baby needs be delivered. Your amniotic fluid is low and she is under stress."
I couldn't believe it. It was too early. She was too little. What is happening? I can't handle this. My mind reeling in different directions. She wheeled me to a new room and they started the pitocin to start the contractions. I didn't feel a thing, but after the third contraction Emma's heart rate dropped to 49. I was having this baby now. She wouldn't make it unless I had a c-section.
I was so scared. I was about to become a first time mommy and everything was not going according to plan. Little did I know that pretty much sums up motherhood. Emma came early. Emma softly cried while they wheeled her away from me to the NICU. Our lives were changing. I had 34 weeks to prepare for her birth and I wasn't ready. Now, I've had 5 years with her and I realize that I was ready. She is my joy. She is my strength. She is my love. She is my fighter. She is my daughter.